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Flashback Friday ~ The Turkey Edition

This is the “Turkey  — One Day Late  As Usual — Edition of Flashback Friday
brought to you by Quilldancer.

Flashback Friday is the brain child of Linda from Mocha With Linda. This is the meme that takes us back in time to the days of our youth. Linda says, This meme’s purpose is to have us take a look back and share about a specific time or event in our lives. It will be fun to see how similar – or different – our experiences have been! This week Linda wants me to share my memories of my super dysfunctional family’s Thanksgiving gathering.  Apparently she doesn’t realize that somethings really are better left unexplored!

What was Thanksgiving like when you were growing up? What days did you usually have off from school? Do you remember any Thanksgiving activities at school, such as a play or a meal? During the Thanksgiving weekend, did you travel to spend it with relatives or did you stay home? Or did relatives travel to you? What was your family’s day typically like? Did you watch the Macy’s Parade or something else on TV? Have you ever attended a Thanksgiving parade? Was football a big part of the day? And of course, we have to hear what your family ate! Were there any traditional foods that were part of your family’s meal? Which of your growing-up traditions do you do with your family today? And if you are married, how did it go merging your two traditions/expectations?

I absolutely don’t remember anything special Thanksgiving related that happened at school in my childhood.  If something special did happen, I think I would remember it.  Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays.

The second school was out on Wednesday afternoon (full day, no early release) I would scoot home and Gram and I would drive the 35 miles to Aunt Aldy’s and Uncle Norm’s.   The house would already be full of great food cooking smells.  There would be candy dishes piled high with all kinds of great treats.  To this day I love those colorful, old-fashioned, Christmas sugar candies.

My Aunt always served the same breakfast on thanksgiving morning.  She made fresh, steamy hot chocolate from scratch,  and she served it with a big platter of toasted and buttered bread ritually cut into three strips just perfect for dipping.   Gram, Aunt Aldy, my cousin Patty and I would sit at the table and dip our toast and then eat it.   That breakfast was only served on Thanksgiving morning, Christmas morning, and Easter morning.  As an adult I have tried making it and eating it myself, but it just isn’t the same in my own kitchen.

After breakfast we would watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  My cousin Patty and I would lay on our stomachs on the living room floor.  We would constantly inch closer and closer to the TV set.  My Uncle Norm would grab our feet and pull us back.   Norm, Jr. and Stephen, Patty’s brothers, usually sat in the easy chairs and my Uncle took up the whole couch.  He never sat in one place.  He always seemed to bounce around.   Gram and Aunt Aldy would sneak peeks from the kitchen.

Dinner was always served around noon.  My uncle wanted his meal eaten and all the noisy clean-up out of the way when the game started.  He also wanted Patty and I silent and/or out of sight.   I don’t know why we had to be quiet when he and the boys got to do so much screaming and yelling it didn’t seem fair.  Patty and I usually went to the family room in the basement and played with our Barbies or did jigsaw puzzles.

The dinner itself was always my favorite meal of the year.  Most of our foods were traditional.  Turkey, gibblet gravy, mashed potatoes, oyster stuffing (not dressing), candied yams, olives (green & black), cranberry sauce (with and without whole berries), shrimp salad, fresh baked dinner rolls, home canned pickles (sweet & dill),  and sparkling cider to drink.

When I was married to Michael and his kids were little, we had traditional turkey dinner that looked a lot like what I mentioned above. Michael always did the cooking and he made a sausage stuffing that was heavenly.  After I divorced I usually had friends to share Thanksgiving with — sometimes at my house, sometimes at their’s, sometimes at restaurants.

Amoeba and I spent our first Thanksgiving together at home.  I roasted a chicken and made a miniature version of  the traditional dinner.  We were supposed to go to a friend’s house, but we couldn’t get through the security gate.  By our second Thanksgiving we’d figured out how to work the security gate and joined our friends at their Makaha condo.  We ate our turkey dinner on the patio beside the beach.

Last Thanksgiving we were in Oahu.    OJM cooked the food and brought it to our house where several people gathered.  I made everybody taste Jone’s Soda’s holiday flavored beverage — Tofurkey & Gravy Soda.   We all had to take a sip while wearing a funky stuffed turkey hat.  I blogged about it, of course.

This Thanksgiving we will be joining friends.  I have no plans to torture them with Jones’s holiday flavor this year.  I really should since this is Jones Soda country!   It hails from Seattle.  This year’s holiday flavor is Bacon!


  1. I remember your Jones Soda from last year!

    I loved the breakfast memory. Isn’t it funny how we can make something exactly like our grandmother/mom did but it just doesn’t taste the same?!

  2. Of course we don’t have Thanksgiving here but it’s much like how we celebrate Christmas – Turkey dinner with all the trimmings. 🙂

  3. We never celebrated Thanksgiving much here in Hawaii while I was growing up. With our own kids we did the traditional turkey stuff. Hmmm…. you’re bringing back lots of memories.

    1. Barbara — my uncle didn’t even like us to breathe, but he would hope around on the couch in his boxer shorts and shout obscenities at the TV screen.

  4. .
    You do it up right, Quilly! I liked your toast in hot chocolate breakfast idea.
    I didn’t miss the Macy’s parade or the football games because I didn’t even know they were available. Grandpa finally got TV but he didn’t watch things like that.
    Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂
    BTW, cornbread dressing is a Southern thing. Comments for and against it were divided pretty closely by the Mason Dixon line.

  5. Yep… this sounds very similar to my childhood Thanksgivings… except… we NEVER dipped toast in hot cocoa… ours was cut into triangles and dipped in ORANGE JUICE! But not on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving we were not allowed to break fast until THE MEAL was served — usually around 2:00 pm! By which time we were all sO hungry we could hardly enjoy it for inhaling it so quickly! Hence… I have always had my own kids eat SOMEthing for breakfast on holidays!

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